Earlier this month, a St. Olaf student received a racist threat that sparked a campuswide protest, which forced the school to cancel classes. The school revealed on Wednesday that this was all a hoax!
St. Olaf President David R. Anderson wrote in a message addressed to their students that one student confessed to writing the note. The typewritten anonymous note was fabricated according to Anderson. This was said to draw concerns about the school climate.
Anderson says in the first two messages on Wednesday to students that the letter bore no genuine threat. He also claims that there is no such ongoing incident addressed to an individual nor does the whole community affected by such in any way.
On April 29, the note was tucked onto the windshield on the car of a black student, which was the reason for the community’s outrage. Fear and hurt easily spread inside the private college campus. Many were shocked to discover that the note was fake after all.
Ben Parsell, a sophomore, said on Wednesday found it disturbing that the letter was deliberately written just to stir up the campus. Parsell didn’t think that a hoax would make it more difficult for the victim to get help on the incidence of a genuine racist threat. He says that the campus won’t allow it.
For some of the students, the fake threat does not change the fact that racism indeed does exists. But they did gain something from it. St. Olaf senior Daniel Katuka says that this started something good. Katuka happens to be black and so far, he has not experienced the same level of racism in campus compared to that of the outside world. The senior appreciates the school’s community for coming together while faced with an apparent racism problem. He says that if there is a problem, it’s no longer a problem as the campus is ready to stand firm together.